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CATS launched at OCC

The OCC has announced the launch of the agency’s Central Application Tracking System (CATS), which is the OCC’s new web-based system for banks to file licensing and public welfare investment applications and notices. CATS replaces e-Corp and CD-1 Invest, the current OCC electronic filing systems. See OCC Bulletin 2016-37 for details.


ANPR comments extended on enhanced cyber risk management standards

The Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC have announced the extension through February 17, 2017, of the comment period for their advance notice of proposed rulemaking on enhanced cyber risk management standards for large and interconnected entities under their supervision and those entities’ service providers. The agencies are considering five categories of cyber standards: cyber risk governance, cyber risk management, internal dependency management, external dependency management, and incident response, cyber resilience, and situational awareness. This announcement extends the comment period by one month.


New York issues updated cybersecurity regs

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced that it has updated its proposed first-in-the-nation cybersecurity regulation to protect New York State from the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks. The proposed regulation, which will be effective March 1, 2017, will require banks, insurance companies, and other financial services institutions regulated by DFS to establish and maintain a cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers and ensure the safety and soundness of New York State’s financial services industry. The updated proposed regulation, which was submitted to the New York State Register on December 15, and published on December 28, will be finalized following a 30-day notice and public comment period.


Fintech edition of Consumer Compliance Outlook

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank has posted a special fintech edition of Consumer Compliance Outlook with these articles:

  • Perspectives on Fintech: A Conversation with Governor Lael Brainard
  • Fintech: Balancing the Promise and Risks of Innovation
  • Fintech for the Consumer Market: An Overview
  • Fintech Resources: Laws, Regulations, and Supervisory Guidance


OCC adds sales practices to financial institutions risks

The OCC has released its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2016. which reports on the strategic, credit, operational, and compliance risks facing national banks and federal savings associations. The report includes an added focus on sales oversight, in the aftermath of the Wells Fargo scandal. Other highlights of the report include:

  • Strategic risk remains high as banks consider business model changes and face challenges in growing revenue. Strategic planning remains important as banks adopt innovative products, services, and processes in response to the evolving demands for financial services and the entrance of new competitors, such as out-of-market banks and financial technology firms.
  • Banks continue to ease underwriting practices to boost loan volume and to respond to competition from bank and non-bank lenders. These actions are evident in commercial, commercial real estate and auto lending. The level of risk is increasing due to increased risk layering, rising loan policy exceptions, increasing loan-to-value ratios, and weaker covenant protection.
  • Operational risk remains a concern as banks face changing cybersecurity threats, increased reliance on third-party relationships, and the need for sound governance over sales practices.
  • Banks face challenges meeting the integrated mortgage disclosure requirements and amended Military Lending Act regulatory requirements, and managing Bank Secrecy Act risks.

Comptroller Curry offered remarks during the press call on the report.


Updated resources for HMDA data collection

The FFIEC and HUD have published a list of updated resources for the collection of 2017 HMDA data. The linked resources include a technology preview, filing instructions for 2017 data and for 2018 and later data, a loan/application register (LAR) formatting tool, and FAQs.


Bogus tech support schemers to pay $10 million

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that defendants who operated a Florida-based tech support scheme that the Federal Trade Commission and State of Florida charged deceived thousands of consumers, will pay $10 million for consumer redress to settle the action. According to the complaint, defendant Inbound Call Experts, doing business as Advanced Tech Support along with other defendants, used high-pressure sales pitches to telemarket tech support products and services falsely claiming to find viruses and malware on consumers’ computers. The stipulated final court order prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting that they have identified performance or security issues on consumers’ computers and from making any other misrepresentations while selling a product or service.


CFPB hosts consumer financial markets research conference

Director Cordray presented prepared remarks yesterday to the participants at the CFPB Research Conference. The Director observed, “in the last two generations, the markets for consumer credit and household finance have expanded and become much more complex. Raw numbers tell the story. The mortgage market today stands at just over $10 trillion. Student loan debt has risen rapidly in recent years to over $1.3 trillion. Auto loan debt exceeds $1.1 trillion. And credit card debt now totals around $700 billion. Growing along with this debt has been the availability, variety, and complexity of consumer financial products and services “ He also noted, “We are also the first federal agency with jurisdiction over both banks and the nonbank financial companies that compete against them in markets like mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, auto finance, consumer installment lending, and the like. Just as an umpire must be authorized to assess the entire field of play, this authority enables us to level the expectations and compliance standards of these two types of financial services providers.”

Cordray also announced the unveiling of a new Consumer Credit Trends web tool, which offers a fresh and timely perspective on the performance of consumer financial markets both today and over time. The beta version of the Consumer Credit Trends tool tracks originations for mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans.


FTC refunds $88M to mobile cramming victims

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is providing over $88 million in refunds to more than 2.7 million AT&T customers who had third-party charges added to their mobile bills without their consent, a tactic known as "mobile cramming." The refunds to consumers relate to 2014 settlements with AT&T, and Tatto and Acquinty, the companies behind two of the cramming schemes. According to the complaint filed by the Commission, AT&T placed unauthorized third-party charges on its customers' phone bills, usually in amounts of $9.99 per month, for ringtones and text message subscriptions containing love tips, horoscopes, and "fun facts." The FTC alleged that AT&T kept at least 35 percent of the charges it imposed on its customers. Through the FTC"s refund program, nearly 2.5 million current AT&T customers will receive a credit on their bill within the next 75 days, and more than 300,000 former customers will receive a check. The average refund amount is $31.


FHFA successfully implements CSP

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced the successful implementation of Release 1 of the Common Securitization Platform (CSP). This means that Freddie Mac is now using the CSP for Data Acceptance, Issuance Support, and Bond Administration activities related to current single-class, fixed-rate, mortgage-backed securities. The implementation demonstrates that the system, operations, and controls of the CSP and Common Securitization Solutions (CSS), a joint venture owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), are functional.


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